Tips to Avoid Food Guilt Around the Holidays

The holidays can be a time of anxiety for individuals who may struggle with their eating habits. We are here to tell you that you do not have to feel guilty for indulging in a little extra food.

It is almost Thanksgiving, and this time of year is to meant to be enjoyed with family and friends. Unfortunately with a holiday filled with delicious food, you are bound to see countless articles filled with fear-based messaging centered around eating, weight gain, and exercise. So let's talk about ways to feel good about the holidays instead of anxious over what we are eating. 

What exactly is food guilt?

Food guilt is when a person has shame, restrictions, deprivations, and bad feelings about the food they eat or want to eat. While it is true that a healthy diet and exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle, obsessing over everything you eat can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. 

Here are some tips to manage feelings of guilt surrounding eating during the holidays. 

Honor your Hunger

Practice listening to your body.If you are feeling hungry, honor your hunger and eat something. When you feel full, listen to your body and stop eating. If you ignore your hunger cues it could lead to restriction, which could lead to overeating later. 

Take the time to enjoy yourself

Make sure that you allow yourself to enjoy all your favorite foods and enjoy the process of eating while in the company of your family and friends. If you allow yourself to enjoy all the foods you love and take the time to be present during your meal you can be mindful of when you feel full. According to Harvard's School of Public Health savoring food slowly is a practice of mindful eating and can help you feel satisfied without feeling too full.

Give yourself grace

If you do feel like you over ate, remember that a few fun meals will not derail a balanced diet. If you are feeling overwhelmed by guilty feelings, treat yourself to a walk and remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day. Remember that the holidays are a time to celebrate and enjoy things that you may not enjoy on a daily basis.

Happy Thanksgiving from Slidell Memorial Hospital!